Don’t let the name fool you: while the title Everything Sucks! might make ‘90s kids feel as though Netflix is mocking their generation, the new original series for the streaming service is dubbed a “quirky, funny coming of age story.”
Netflix has ordered 10, half-hour episodes of the dramedy, which follows two groups of high school misfits — one in an audio-visual club and the other a drama club — who meet in 1996, in Oregon. It stars Peyton Kennedy (American Fable, The Captive) as Kate Messner and Jahi Winston (The New Edition Story) as Luke O’Neil, two of the students, along with Patch Darragh (Sully, Boardwalk Empire) and Claudine Nako (Grimm) as their respective parents. Also featured in the cast is Sydney Sweeney, Elijah Stevenson, Quinn Liebling, and Rio Mangini. The show is created by Ben York Jones (Like Crazy, Newness) and Michael Mohan (Save the Date, Pink Grapefruit), who will both serve as executive producers. Mohan will also direct most of the episodes, with some help from Ry Russo-Young. Jeff Pinkner (Lost, Fringe), Scott Rosenberg (October Road, Life on Mars), Josh Appelbaum (Alias, October Road) and André Nemec (Alias, October Road) from Midnight Radio will also serve as executive producers.
Not surprisingly, Jones and Mohan say some of their favorite shows of all time are The Wonder Years, Happy Days, That ’70s Show, and Freaks and Geeks, all of which “looked back at bygone eras with 20 years of hindsight. We think,” the pair adds, “this is a great time to take a look back at high school and relive the fashion, music, and attitudes of the mid-’90s the way we remember it. Not sensationalized, not watered down; but desperate, heartfelt, awkward, and exciting.”
Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland adds that everyone will find something to relate to in Everything Sucks!, which she says is about “the one thing that sucks above everything else –high school.”
Everything Sucks! will premiere in 2018, and marks the latest addition in a growing trend toward series that look back at high school life. The Goldbergs, set in the ‘80s, has been a highly popular series for ABC since it debuted in 2013, and was recently renewed for a fifth and sixth season. Hulu recently announced the interactive comedy series Door No. 1, which features virtual reality and takes viewers into a fictional 10-year high school reunion. Hulu also has plans for its own ‘90s-themed comedy in an upcoming untitled series that will by executive produced by Seth Rogen and James Franco, both of whom appeared in Freaks and Geeks. In March, Amazon put out the pilot for Budding Prospects, which features the story of three young boys in the ‘80s who move to Mendocino, California, with dreams of growing marijuana.